Woolloongabba – Cottage Pod

Owner’s Dream

Kelly and Anthony and their young children wanted a light, spacious inner-city family home with flowing from the quiet street to the back urban bushland. They wanted to borrow the bare minimum, stay in their home during construction, and do much of the work themselves.

Existing Site & House

From an approvals perspective, they’d ticked every box for difficulty. They had a Queenslander on a Small Lot in a Demolition Control Precinct. Their land backed on to a park with a creek. At least annually, the yard flash-flooded with overland flow. The Brisbane City Council Flood Level was 100mm over the floor of the cottage. There is a major sewer line running across the middle of their land

The time-worn 3-bedroom workers cottage felt as if it was bursting at the seams. It had no covered play space, parking or built-in storage. Dark, central rooms faced neighbouring houses you could touch.  Small front and back verandahs enclosed a tiny kitchen, bathroom, laundry and study.

Our Design Solution

We designed a new two storey pod on 4m high posts. Living, kitchen, meals and deck are a few steps up from the cottage, with a parents’ retreat above. Every spare corner is used for storage. A covered bridge between the cottage and pod is also the family entry It lets light and air into all the adjoining rooms.

In the cottage we turned a divided a sitting room into entry and study, and reconfigured existing windows for plenty of light without looking to the neighbours

PlaceMate organised all the consultants and designed the pod to suit all the rules. The Development Application was approved in 10 days! 

Fibro sheet walls, plywood floors and customorb roof saved time and money. Kelly and Anthony assembled a flat-pack kitchen, painted and tiled. They lived in the cottage while the house was built, then moved into the pod while builders opened the cottage and repainted. The project was on time and budget.

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Our Happy Clients

We knew we only had one chance to get the look and the acoustics right and the room also needed to work if we ever sold the home.PlaceMate took into account not just the acoustics, but also the aesthetics of the room. We are delighted with their work

Greg & Trish Elgar Brisbane

Jan, you did a fantastic job translating our unformed ideas into a classy home, fulfilling all our requirements. We are most impressed that you were able to design such a unique and spacious home on a small block and yet one that blends in with the ambience of the suburb without being ostentatious. Your choice of building materials was inspired and the design incorporating the high ceiling in the living/dining/kitchen area impresses everyone who sees it. We also appreciated your no-nonsense, straightforward, approach to the whole project. Congratulations on a great job

Lola & Ian Binch Owners

Jan has a great eye for detail. Her plans are very comprehensive and she thoughtfully considers every aspect of how her clients will live within the space she designs for them. She specialises in period homes and homes with character.


Manley Homes Manley Homes

Best use of a steep site

PlaceMate designs topped the state at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards for best use of a sloping site over $250,000 for two contemporary townhouses built on a 500sqm site that dropped 10 meters from a busy road. All four bedrooms and living areas captured the city views.


Best renovation $250-$500,000

PlaceMate designs took home the prize at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards for the best renovation $250,000 – $500,000 for a 1910 cast concrete Californian bungalow-style house in Indooroopilly. The winning design unified alterations undertaken in the 50s, 70s and 80s and added a new wing.

Recognised in The Courier-Mail

PlaceMate’s skills were recognised in The Courier-Mail in January 2016 for our transformation of a Shorncliffe residence originally built around 1910.

Registered with Board of Architects Queensland

Registration Number 2457

Our Client Success Team

Placemate Architects works with successful and innovative clients. Together we achieve significant and lasting transformations of cities, houses and landscapes.